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Cascading waterfall in the Milford Sound

Natural treasures of New Zealand

Lyttelton - Auckland - Example 10 Day Cruise aboard Le Laperouse
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Embark on a 10-day cruise from Lyttelton to Auckland aboard Le Lapérouse, uncovering New Zealand's natural treasures. Explore Dunedin, a vibrant student city with Scottish heritage, and cruise through the iconic fjords of Fiordland National Park. Visit Marlborough's vineyards in Picton, discover Napier's architectural blend, experience Maori culture in Whakatane, and marvel at Rotorua's geothermal wonders. The cruise ends in cosmopolitan Auckland, encapsulating New Zealand's modern essence.
A quiet morning near Dunedincruising at Doubtful SoundVisit beautiful AucklandGeothermal area in Rotorua, Te PuiaCascading waterfall in the Milford Sound
Highlights
  • Discover sublime New Zealand landscapes with exceptional diversity
  • Explore the Marlborough region, famous for its vineyards and its valleys
  • Meet the Maori people, brave warriors with ancestral traditions and customs
  • Experience the opportunity to discover the emblematic thermal wonders of Wai-O-Tapu
Activities
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Lyttelton | Embark

On the eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Lyttelton (or Te Whaka Raupo in the Maori language) served, thanks to its proximity to Ross Island, as the starting point for the British expeditions in the mythical age of the South Pole explorations. It takes its name from George Lyttelton (1709–1773), an aristocrat and colonial governor of South Carolina. In this colorful port town full of history, discover the Time Ball. Constructed in 1876, it rang at 1.00 pm every day for 58 consecutive years to give Greenwich meridian time, enabling ship captains to set their chronometer and very precisely calculate their position.

Day 2: Dunedin

Dunedin is New Zealand's oldest city and is often referred to as the Edinburgh of New Zealand. This city of the south wears its Scottish heritage with pride. The city contains some of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere. The Silver Peak hinterland to the north-west provides a picturesque backdrop, and the Otago Peninsula, which lies within the city boundaries, has internationally renowned wildlife reserves, including the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross.

Day 3: Sailing Dusky Sound |Sailing Doubtful Sound

Dusky Sound is one of the most isolated fjords in Fiordland National Park. This huge, protected natural zone situated in the south-west quarter of New Zealand’s South Island is listed as UNESCO World Heritage. The sheer cliffs, waterfalls, shimmering lakes, and primitive forests here are each more beautiful than the next. These spectacular landscapes, sculpted by successive glaciations, are a source of endless wonder. In 1773, the British navigator James Cook spent a few weeks at Dusky Sound, as demonstrated by a plaque that can be seen at Astronomer’s Point. During your sailing, observe the richness of the local wildlife: cormorants, seagulls, New Zealand fur seals, and Fiordland crested penguins, a rare and endemic species.

Referred to as the Sound of Silence, there is a secluded serenity that surrounds Doubtful Sound in contrast with the better-known Milford Sound. Lieutenant James Cook named it 'Doubtful Harbour' in 1770 as he was uncertain if it was navigable under sail. Doubtful Sound is the deepest of the fjords, with a maximum depth of 421 m. It contains three distinct 'arms' and several outstanding waterfalls in the area, from Deep Cove to the open ocean. Your ship will spend time navigating around Secretary Island through both Thompson and Doubtful Sounds. Enjoy the spectacular scenery from the outer decks.

Day 4: Sailing Milford Sound

Milford Sound fjord is among the most beautiful natural sites in New Zealand. So much beauty will quite simply take your breath away. Located on the south-west coast of the South Island, in the Fiordland National Park, this sumptuous inlet carved out by glaciers advances over at least 15 kilometers inland, in the Southern Alps. Majestic cliffs seem to surge out of the dark waters, rising several hundred meters high—an abrupt relief from where impressive waterfalls cascade.

Day 5: At Sea

During your journey at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This journey without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, depending on the activities offered, or to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest, and entertainment.

Day 6: Picton

A must-see entry point to the South Island, Picton is a little coastal town girded by gentle hills, located on the south side of the Queen Charlotte inlet. The cafés and restaurants that border the charming waterfront give a very lovely view of the fjord. You can also decide to get some height above sea level and walk in the surrounding areas. However, Picton is above all an opportunity to explore the unique Marlborough Sounds. This interweaving of submerged valleys in this area has created numerous navigable routes, which are among the most beautiful natural wonders of New Zealand.

Day 7: Napier

On the east coast of the North Island, south of Hawke’s Bay, you can find Napier. Mostly destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, it was resurrected from its ashes in less than two years and grew into a magnificent Art Deco style city, very in vogue at the time. With its pure lines mixed with traditional Maori designs, the singular New Zealand character of this city will intrigue you. Discover all this extraordinary architectural heritage as you take a stroll through the city. Famous for its vineyards, wine lovers will be able to taste some of the best wines from the region.

Day 8: Whakatane

Lying to the east of Tauranga, Whakatane stretches the entire length of the Bay of Plenty, protected by the outlying Matakana Island. Discovered in 1769 by James Cook, the Bay of Plenty is one of the jewels of the North Island. You can also reach the town of Rotorua and the unmissable thermal wonderland of Wai-O-Tapu, which combines volcanic valleys and geysers for an exceptional geothermic experience. Boasting a strong Maori culture, Whakatane will not fail to surprise you with its history and authenticity.

Day 9: Auckland

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest, most populated, and busiest city. Located on an isthmus linking the peninsula of Northland to the expansive North Island, it seems to float between land and sea. It is one of the few cities in the world to have two separate harbors: Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. Discover why Auckland is known as "the City of Sails" when you see the forest of masts in the marina. The 328-meter-high Sky Tower offers splendid views of the city. Surrounded by dormant volcanoes such as Mt. Eden, Auckland is noted for its abundant nature and magnificent black-sand beaches. A blend of Maori, European, and Asian cultures gives the city a vibrant atmosphere.

Day 10: Auckland | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest, most populated, and busiest city. Located on an isthmus linking the peninsula of Northland to the expansive North Island, it seems to float between land and sea. It is one of the few cities in the world to have two separate harbors: Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. Discover why Auckland is known as "the City of Sails" when you see the forest of masts in the marina. The 328-meter-high Sky Tower offers splendid views of the city. Surrounded by dormant volcanoes such as Mt. Eden, Auckland is noted for its abundant nature and magnificent black-sand beaches. A blend of Maori, European, and Asian cultures gives the city a vibrant atmosphere.

Ship/Hotel

Le Laperouse

Le Laperouse Ship
Le Laperouse
Le Laperouse Ship

Dates & Prices

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Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Cabin
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Deluxe Stateroom
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² Private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Deluxe Suite
Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 6m² private balcony
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
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Privilege Suite
Area: 32 m² Capacity: up to 4 passengers per cabin 8m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Grand Deluxe Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Owner's Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds

Notes

Please Note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and subject to change without notice.
Included
  • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • 9 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Wifi
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • 24h Room Service (special selection)
  • English-Speaking Lecturer 
  • Highly experienced and bilingual (French-English) expedition staff
  • Park Entry Fees into Protected Areas
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite. 
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Optional Excursions - Ponant allows you to pre-book your excursions approximately six to two months prior to the cruise* departure. Please note that this is subject to change. Please contact us for more details.
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Luggage Handling 
  • Laundry Services, Hair Salon, and à La Carte Spa Treatments
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions 
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions
  • CDP recommends that every Traveler has full and adequate travel insurance covering the risks of cancellation, assistance being required, repatriation, damages to and loss of baggage, and medical expenses

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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